Cocoa Beach Pier begins reopening amid coronavirus pandemic

First phase of plan includes reopening parking lot

Back to business beachside starts as a step-by-step approach for one of Brevard County's most recognizable attractions.

COCOA BEACH, Fla. – The plan to get back to business beachside starts as a step-by-step approach for one of Brevard County’s most recognizable attractions.

On Monday, the Cocoa Beach Pier, which has been closed since March 19, reopened its parking lot, a hot dog stand and a souvenir shop.

The COO of Westgate Resorts called reopening gradually, “uncharted territory.”

[RELATED: Brevard County: Here’s what will reopen as Florida rolls back coronavirus closures]

"It's very easy to say, 'Hey, I'm maximizing my profits if I open up everything today.' We want to step into it and make sure our team members are trained, make sure the guests are comfortable," Mark Waltrip said.

The pier's guests Monday included a nurse from Kissimmee who parked in the reopened lot for her first beach day with her kids in six weeks.

Erika Miele, with Park Place Behavioral Health care, said she was happy to see reopening underway.

"I think we need it as long as people can be courteous and have some common sense," Miele said.

As beaches, restaurants and hotels welcome tourists again, Brevard County has said the cruise lines are expected to be the last industry to financially recover.

[MORE: Carnival announces plan to resume cruises amid coronavirus pandemic]

Also on Monday, Carnival announced it will cruise again from Port Canaveral starting the first of August.

Port Canaveral CEO John Murray approved of the company’s decision.

“We applaud Carnival for this realistic plan to move forward with cruise sailings," Murray said.

At last check, no other cruise lines had announced when they intend to sail again.

About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.